Seat on Bezos-backed space flight sells for $28 million at auction

Seat on Bezos-backed space flight sells for $28 million at auction
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Blue Origin, the space flight company founded and owned by Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosThe Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Why Bezos's space flight really matters The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries MORE, is giving a seat on its very first human flight next month to an individual who pledged a winning bid of $28 million at an auction Saturday. 

The company announced the win on Twitter following the livestreamed auction, which lasted less than 10 minutes after opening at $4.9 million, with more than 20 bidders participating.

That came after nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries had registered to bid on a seat for the July 20 space flight by the time registration closed Thursday, according to ABC News, with pre-auction bidding ending at $4.8 million.

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Blue Origin said the $28 million would be donated to Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to “inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space,” according to its website.

The company said Saturday that the name of the auction winner would be released in the coming weeks, with Blue Origin's director of astronaut and orbital sales, Ariane Cornell, saying ahead of the auction that Blue Origin would need to “complete some final paperwork with them.”

"But given the flight is just a couple of short weeks from today, you all will know very soon who the winner is," she added.

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Blue Origin said the fourth and final crew member of the mission will also be announced when the identity of the auction winner is revealed.

Bezos announced this week that he and his brother would be flying to space in July on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.

“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post.

The trip is set to make Bezos the first billionaire space mogul to take a trip on technology that he himself helped fund. While Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Musk says Tesla likely to accept bitcoin again Twitter hacking suspect to be held in Spain MORE has highlighted recent technological advancements and tests of his SpaceX rockets, the CEO and founder has yet to indicate that he would visit space using his own spacecraft.

Last year, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Alabama-based company Dynetics were each awarded a contract by NASA to design and develop human landing systems to bring the first woman and next man to the moon.